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Do you know anyone in your life that you would describe as being wise? Not think or feel in your heart that they are wise, but really say it out loud to them and say it to others?

If you do and you would, you are part of a minority today.

Wisdom is a fading artifact of the last century. In the world today, it is an anachronism, either seen as hopelessly old-fashioned, or, even worse, seen as a threat to contemporary culture. Where did our culture of wisdom go?

One of…


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There is probably nothing more mind-numbing than working on a task that is meaningless, boring, or uninspiring. It is the feeling we get when we are sitting in a lengthy and irrelevant meeting and the one we get when we are revising work that was well-done to meet the demands of an uncaring and capricious boss.

When we are doing it, time slows down.

On the other hand, when we are doing something we enjoy, that is fun or uplifting, time speeds up. It is like the old saying, time flies when you are having fun. …


There is an art form from Japan called kintsugi. Literally, it means repairing with gold.

The art form reportedly originates from 15th century Japan when the shogunate Ashigaka Yoshimasa dropped and broke a beloved tea cup. The tea cup was eventually taken to a skilled Japanese ceramic artist who glued the pieces together and highlighted the fractures with red lacquer covered in gold dust.

The result was a new tea cup, beautifully reborn with its imperfections highlighted and celebrated in gold. Once ordinary, the tea cup became extraordinary, not because of its perfection, but because of its imperfections.

The tea…


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We are all familiar with the Golden Rule. It simply says, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It makes sense and it is so easy to understand that we teach it to children.

But I propose there is another Golden Rule, one that we do not recognize and one that is harder for us to embrace. I propose a Golden Rule of self-compassion. This rule would go something like this, do unto yourself as you would have yourself to do unto others.

Why do we need…


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The numbers are in, and they are pretty amazing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 1 in 4 people employed in February 2021 teleworked or worked at home for pay because of the pandemic. This is down from 35.4 percent in May 2020, the first month data were collected.

But there is a problem.

There is no doubt that teleworking was invaluable as a tool to help create social distance and combat the pandemic. But its long-term utility is undercut by how much we really trust online communication.

Telework is incredibly useful and was a boon for…


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We all know that words have meaning. The difficulty is that, along with their everyday meaning, they also have emotional meaning. This extra emotional meaning is often used, consciously or unconsciously, especially when we are arguing. Here are seven things that we should either not say or that we should say carefully to communicate more effectively.

You

‘You’ is a tricky word. When it is used softly it can convey connection and elevate a person. It is especially powerful when we use it in conjunction with a person’s name to establish a direct, personal connection. For example, “Tia, when you…


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I have a co-worker who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. This means he has had to change a lot of things, including his diet. When someone brought donuts into the office he said, “I can’t have that, it’s like rat poison to me!”

That pretty much sums up the response when someone says it is ok for someone with an alcohol problem to have a glass of wine each day.

The assertion usually comes with a claim that wine is good for you. …


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Life has a beginning and an end, but the path that connects them is not straight. It involves many ups, downs, beginnings, endings, and changes. Each of these periods are buffered by a period of transition, a period where we are shifting from the old to the new. It is in these transition periods that things can get a little rough.

How can we manage these transitions? One of the easiest ways is to think about change as three simple steps. Unfreezing, the Neutral Zone, and Re-freezing.

These three steps are attributed to a famous social psychologist named Kurt Lewin…


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We have all experienced cultural distance. When cultures are similar, they are said to be culturally close. When cultures are less similar, they are said to be culturally distant. How can we close the gap between cultures when we live or travel abroad?

Here are a few ideas.

Smile

Smiling is a powerful and universal social signal. One of the reasons smiling works is because our emotions are not just individual attributes, they have a social aspect as well. It is this social component that makes our emotions contagious. I think of smiling as an automatic door opener. Smiling makes…


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There are plenty of frustrations that come with life, especially when living abroad, and plenty of opportunities for these frustrations to become anger.

We are all human and we all can have strong emotions. This is generally not a problem until our emotions become dangerous to ourselves or to others. Part of the danger of strong emotions is simply that — they are strong. They can resist our efforts to control them. They have a nasty tendency to jump over the internal barriers, constraints, and limits we have inside of us that normally keep us safe.

James E. McGinley

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.

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